Letter from Col Tannahill, President AFTA, to ALL NSW Political Parties ahead of the NSW election on 23rd March

As President of Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA), I write because we are heading to the NSW election on the 23rd March 2019. (I am also the Managing Director of Shimano Australia Fishing.)

AFTA is the collective representative organisation for the recreational fishing industry, our aim is to work with the New South Wales Government for the advancement of the recreational fishing industry, both in a business sense and a pastime experience.

We represent the interests of over 500,000 licensed fishing people in NSW, made up of individuals, families, diversified sporting groups, all who engage in recreational fishing and contribute significantly to the NSW economy.

Our industry in NSW is a major employer with a direct contribution to the NSW economy in excess of $2.2 billion, noting that indirectly Tourism is also a major benefactor from recreational fishing activities bringing a total economic benefit to NSW of $3.4 billion.

AFTA takes a non-partisan approach to engaging with all politicians, across all levels of government, our only goal is to build an open relationship that benefits not just our members, but everyone that participates in recreational fishing.

We see our industry as a part of the solution going forward on so many fronts, not as a part of the problem. We want to build a better and stronger future for our nation, economically, environmentally & socially.

Therefore, AFTA would like to assist with policies that effect recreational fishing, as such I would encourage you, should you have questions or concerns ahead of the election, to reach out to us for assistance at any time.

All of our Board positions are honorary, we are in the peak of our season and as such we cannot individually allocate the time away from our businesses to engage in politics on issues pertaining to recreational fishing. However we have engaged The Hon Bob Baldwin, a former parliamentarian and a dedicated & respected fisherman to act in a non-partisan manner to reach out to members and political parties such as yourself and to follow through with you to ascertain your parties’ position before the next election so that we can analyse your policy and share it with our members.

With the NSW State election to be held on the 23rd March 2019, I would ask you to provide your party’s policy details that will affect or benefit our members over the next 4 years for their consideration ASAP. We are very keen to see a plan that delivers improved recreational fishing opportunities for all NSW people and increases the economic benefit to NSW.

We would also appreciate a definitive timeline from you for the review of the Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park which was established in 2007 and was to be reviewed in 2012. This review is now 7 years overdue and an issue of concern to our members and the recreational fishing community.

Please note that AFTA will not advocate whom to vote for at elections, but will provide a non-partisan analysis of the policies being taken to the election by all the various parties for the forthcoming term to allow those who enjoy recreational fishing to make an informed decision on the benefit or detriment to their sport.

Bob Baldwin ’s contact details are:
Mobile: 0419 694620
Email: thehonbobbaldwin@gmail.com

Please do not think I am not available to you or any of your members anytime if needed.

I have attached a copy of the analysis of the recent Victorian political party’s policies that was distributed to our members recently.

We, the recreational fishing industry appreciate your time and look forward to receiving your policy.

Yours sincerely

Colin Tannahill
President – Australian Fishing Trade Association